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This appeal related to a purported agreement resolving a lawsuit between Kevin Seward and Musick Auction, LLC (“Musick”). Seward claimed that the parties entered into a binding oral settlement agreement and he moved to enforce the agreement. The district court granted Seward’s motion. Musick contended on appeal the district court erred in several respects when it held that the parties had entered into a binding settlement agreement. Finding no reversible error in the district court's judgment, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Seward v. Musick Auction, LLC" on Justia Law

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Jane Doe (2018-24) (“Mother”) appealed a magistrate court’s decision to terminate her parental rights over her daughter (“K.O.”) on grounds of neglect after finding it was in K.O.’s best interest. On appeal Mother contested the magistrate court’s findings that: (1) early permanency for K.O. was appropriate and a continuance of trial was not warranted; and (2) that mother neglected K.O. and it was in the best interest of K.O. to terminate Mother’s rights. After review, the Idaho Supreme Court found the magistrate court did not abuse its discretion in failing to continue the trial. Additionally, substantial and competent evidence, to a clear and convincing standard, supported the magistrate court’s decision that Mother neglected K.O. and it was in K.O.’s best interest to terminate Mother’s parental rights. View "IDHW v. Jane Doe (2018-24)" on Justia Law

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John Bernal appealed his convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident. Carmen Becerra and Bernal dated for approximately eight years. By March 2016, their relationship was strained. One afternoon, Carmen was visiting her cousin; Bernal showed up and asked her if they could talk. Carmen agreed to meet Bernal at his aunt’s house. Carmen and Bernal eft the house in separate cars. Stopped by construction, Bernal got out of his vehicle and walked toward Carmen, who was stopped behind him. Carmen testified Bernal looked angry, so she turned onto a side street to avoid a confrontation. Carmen testified she was driving fast so she could get away from Bernal, but he got back into his vehicle and followed her. While Bernal was following Carmen, she was on the phone with her brother, Gustavo Becerra. Gustavo testified that he could hear screaming, speeding, braking, commotion, and then Carmen abruptly hung up. Carmen hit her brakes, causing Bernal to lose control, spin out, and crash into a parked vehicle. Carmen drove to her home where she lived with her mother, Gustavo, and Gustavo’s family. Bernal arrived on foot. As Bernal was approaching the house, Gustavo told Bernal to leave. When Bernal made it halfway through the yard, Gustavo, who was still on the porch, picked up his baseball bat. An altercation ensured; Bernal left threatening to return. During closing arguments, Bernal argued he did not have a knife, that Gustavo was not a credible witness, and that Gustavo was the aggressor. He also argued that he was not identified as the driver of the car that collided with the parked car. Additionally, Bernal argued Carmen credibly testified, contrary to her previous statement to the police, that she did not see Bernal with a knife. The jury found Bernal guilty on all counts, including the sentencing enhancement, and the district court entered judgment. The Idaho Supreme Court determined Bernal failed to show fundamental error arose from an impermissible variance or from prosecutorial misconduct. Therefore, the Court affirmed Bernal's conviction. View "Idaho v. Bernal" on Justia Law

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Carla Sparks appealed an Idaho Industrial Commission decision, which affirmed an Idaho Department of Labor (“IDOL”) finding that she was not entitled to unemployment benefits after being discharged by her employer, Laura Drake Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. (“Drake Insurance”). The appeals examiner held a telephonic hearing to determine Sparks’ unemployment benefit eligibility, but Sparks failed to appear. As a result, Laura Drake’s sworn testimony about the details of Sparks’ termination was undisputed. The appeals examiner found that Sparks was terminated for cause and thus was not entitled to unemployment benefits. The Commission affirmed, and Sparks appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. The Supreme Court determined Sparks was properly found ineligible for unemployment benefits and the hearing officer/Commission’s denial of her request to provide additional evidence after the initial hearing was not an abuse of discretion. View "Sparks v. Idaho Dept of Labor" on Justia Law

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Phil Hart appealed a district court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing his action contesting the results of a primary election for a State legislative seat. The district court ruled Hart had failed to demonstrate that any irregularities in the election were “sufficient to change the result” - an essential component of an election challenge under the Elections Contests Act, Idaho Code sections 34-2101–34-3128. Hart appealed, but finding no reversible error, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Hart v. Idaho Secretary of State" on Justia Law

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Joseph Herrera appealed his conviction for second-degree murder after a second trial. On appeal, Herrera argued: (1) the State vindictively prosecuted him by adding a sentencing enhancement; (2) the district court erred when it failed to conduct a sufficient inquiry into his request for substitution of appointed counsel; (3) the district court abused its discretion when it overruled objections to a detective’s testimony regarding gunshot residue analysis; (4) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct in closing arguments; (5) the accumulation of errors deprived him of a right to a fair trial; and (6) the district court judge imposed a vindictive sentence after the second trial. After review of the second trial record, the Idaho Supreme Court found no reversible errors and affirmed Herrera’s conviction and sentence. View "Idaho v. Herrera" on Justia Law

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John Doe was the biological father of minor child, J.G. J.G. was conceived in Oklahoma about a month before Doe began serving a thirty-five year prison sentence. J.G. was born in 2011. Doe saw J.G. one time when she was less than twenty months old when someone brought the child to the prison to see him. J.G. and her mother moved to Idaho in approximately 2013. In August 2016, law enforcement removed J.G. and her half-brother from their mother’s care and placed them in shelter care after determining they were in imminent danger. After an adjudicatory hearing, the magistrate court determined it was in the best interest of the children to vest legal custody in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Eventually the Department and the guardian ad litem for J.G. recommended termination of Mother and Doe’s parental rights. Doe’s termination hearing took place in January 2018. The magistrate court determined that Doe will likely be incarcerated for a substantial period of time during J.G.’s minority and that termination was in the child’s best interest. Doe appealed. But the Idaho Supreme Court concurred with the magistrate court that there was substantial and competent evidence to support the magistrate court’s determination that Doe would likely be incarcerated during a substantial period of time during J.G.’s minority and that termination was in the child’s best interests. View "Health & Welfare v. John Doe (2018-17)" on Justia Law

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Charges were brought against Charles Capone following the disappearance of Rachael Anderson in April of 2010. He was convicted by jury of felony first degree murder, failure to notify coroner or law enforcement of death, and conspiracy to commit failure to notify coroner or law enforcement of death. Capone challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction and claimed the district court erred in the admission of certain evidence and by denying his motion for new trial. Finding no error, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Idaho v. Capone" on Justia Law

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Kilo Le Veque appealed district court decisions to revoke his probation and subsequently relinquish jurisdiction. Le Veque argued the district court abused its discretion in these decisions by refusing to consider the propriety of the terms of his probation at the revocation hearing and by relinquishing jurisdiction solely because Le Veque had not obtained a polygraph examination that the district court desired. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s order revoking probation and reversed the district court’s order relinquishing jurisdiction. The Idaho Supreme Court granted the State’s petition for review and: (1) affirmed the district court’s decision revoking Le Veque’s probation; (2) reversed the district court’s decision relinquishing jurisdiction; and (3) remanded the case for further proceedings before a new district court judge. View "Idaho v. Le Veque" on Justia Law

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St. Luke’s Magic Valley Regional Medical Center appealed a jury verdict awarding Rodney and Joyce Herrett $3,775,864.21 in a medical malpractice action wherein St. Luke’s admitted liability. On appeal, St. Luke’s argued that the district court erred by denying its motion for mistrial, admitting certain expert testimony, and improperly instructing the jury as to recklessness. Finding no reversible error, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Herrett v. St. Luke's Magic Valley RMC" on Justia Law